I've listed some of my other favorite tightwad tips for families with kids below:
- Borrow maternity clothes from a friend (or friend-of-a-friend) or buy them on ebay -- many new mothers are eager to get rid of these items once they get their figure back and sell them cheaply in batches.
- Take those "must buy" lists you'll find in books and online with a grain of salt -- you don't need half the things they mention.
- Borrow or buy used cribs, changing tables, and the like using sites like Craigslist. Just be sure to check to make sure the item hasn't been recalled.
- Whenever possible breast-feed rather than using formula -- it is considerably less expensive and moms lose the baby weight faster.
- Accept all offers for hand-me-down baby clothes -- babies grow so fast that most items are like new.
- Quality childcare can be pricey -- even if you don't use it full-time -- but there are plenty of babysitter bargains to be found. Click here for some ideas.
- I saved about $20 just by using a pillowcase as a changing table cover.
- Play dough is a classic toy for a reason -- here's how to make your own.
- Rely on your own creativity for entertaining your tots rather than pricey gismos and gadgets.
- Trikes, big-wheels and the like can easily be purchased used (many families will be trying to get rid of them) - as always just make sure they aren't on the recall list.
- In these days of state and city budget cuts, school fundraising is a must. Click here for some frugal but fun fundraising ideas.
- Once you are out of the board-book stage, it is time to hit the public library for books, dvds and the like. There are plenty of other ways to save on book-buying, too.
- The plethora of quality free online activities for kids makes the cost of an internet connection worthwhile.
- Kids go through lots of snacks. Show them they can make their own, by whipping up a batch of Cracker Jacks together.
- Electronics are now a part of childhood. Reduce (or at least recoup) some of your costs by learning all about the various trade-in programs.